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Website Meta Language / docs / WML-Roadmap-and-TODO-List.txt

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From shlomif@iglu.org.il Thu Jul 13 11:32:53 2006
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From: Shlomi Fish <shlomif@iglu.org.il>
To: wml-users@thewml.org
Subject: WML Roadmap and TODO List
Date: Thu, 13 Jul 2006 11:32:53 +0300
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Hi all!

Having taken over the maintenance of WML from Denis (and Ralf before him), and 
having fixed the cygwin build in the SVN, I'd like to propose the following 
roadmap for WML's future:

1. thewml.berlios.de and thewml.org:
------------------------------------

thewml.org used to be a very Web 1.0-ish site. At the moment, it's a Web 
1.0-ish site which some parts of which were whipped into valid XHTML+CSS, 
while trying to preserve the old look as much as possible. The CSS is 
incredibly large, because I attempted to write it as is. We probably need a 
new design altogether, with some simplifications.

In any case, since we now have a project at Berlios.de  ( 
http://developer.berlios.de/projects/thewml/ ), then I can set up 
http://thewml.berlios.de/ as a temporary ad-hoc site, until we clean up 
http://thewml.org/.

Another thing I'd like to do is have a wiki. We can get a MediaWiki instance 
from Wikia (formerly WikiCities). Now, perhaps we could set up an 
entire "CMSes" (Content Management Systems) wiki, where Web Meta Language 
(and Latemp) will be part of.

2. wmk
------

When I started working with WML, I did not look at wmk and instead used GNU 
make. I still do. I daresay I could not figure how to get wmk working. I also 
converted some of the building of http://thewml.org/ to gmake, and Latemp 
also uses gmake instead of "wmk".

Maybe I'm missing something. I'll keep wmk around for backwards compatibility 
purposes and also fix bugs if they are encountered, but like I said, I'm not 
using it myself.

3. New APIs
-----------

WML is distributed along with many APIs. Some of the APIs are no longer 
relevant. gFont for example has mainly been replaced with CSS. 

Some APIs need to be revamped - the table generation APIs generate tables 
(which can be very convenient) that are no longer valid HTML and XHTML or 
have missing tags. The table-of-contents API is also not too XHTMLy. (I have 
a newer one under xhtml/)

We also need some new functionality. An API for bottom-of-the-page footnotes 
would be nice, as would an API for a picture gallery. (Which have become all 
of the rage recently). 

Finally, we could use some rudimentary integration with XSLT. I've been using 
XSLT with some XML::LibXSLT glue to generate some pages of my site from my 
own XML grammars, and I suppose an API for that would be nice.

All this work will be carried on in the 2.1.x development branch. (The 2.0.x 
branch will be reserved for bug-fixes, etc.) Version 2.2.0 of WML will be the 
first stable version to incporate the changes.

For version 2.2.0, I'd also like to try and optimise WML where appropriate. 
Like I said, it does seem somewhat slow (albeit better on faster computers).

4. Releasing the cygwinnable WML 2.0.x
--------------------------------------

At the moment, there's one problem with the cygwinnable WML 2.0.x of Automake 
specifying the modules sub-directory in cygwin, where it cannot compile. This 
can be fixed by hand, or by a script, but it's better to do it in the 
automake level somehow. I have no idea how, but hopefully I can find out.

5. Test Suite
-------------

WML could really use a test suite with unit tests, system tests, etc. An 
adequate solution would probably be to have several 
input-files/input-flags/output-files combinations. One can also treat some 
WML sites as system tests.

6. Author Refs:
---------------

I'm too tired of maintaining the author refs. It's not a lot of work, but it's 
still quite a lot of manual work. I suggest we move it to a wiki of some 
sort. That way people can add stuff on their own, without me having to 
integrate it.

-------------------------

I wanted to include some thoughts about WML in regards to Web 2.0, but I guess 
they'll have to wait for later, because I'd like to send this message 
already.

Regards,

	Shlomi Fish

---------------------------------------------------------------------
Shlomi Fish      shlomif@iglu.org.il
Homepage:        http://www.shlomifish.org/

Chuck Norris wrote a complete Perl 6 implementation in a day but then
destroyed all evidence with his bare hands, so no one will know his secrets.
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